A PROTEST by animal rights group PETA depicting a realistic model of a dog being barbecued in Southampton city centre has sparked mixed reactions from the public.

The protesters 'roasted' the dog outside Westquay Shopping Centre on Above Bar Street today whilst showing banners reading: “If You Wouldn’t Eat a Dog, Why Eat a Pig? Go Vegan!”

Daily Echo: PETA protest Southampton 12/8/21PETA protest Southampton 12/8/21

One PETA representative at this scene Simon Pelazolles-Hayes said: "We're here with our 'dog BBQ' in Southampton to try to challenge perceptions towards animals. 

"A lot of people coming by here are getting very shocked at the sight of a dog being barbecued but this is a common occurrence for cows, pigs and chickens on a daily basis.

He added: "If it's wrong to barbeque a dog, why is it wrong to barbeque a pig?"

Daily Echo:

Some passers-by were visibly shocked by the model and expressed mixed views about the effectiveness of the shock-tactic style protest.

One passer-by Kieran Brady said: "It doesn't make me want to go vegan.

"I think it's menacing to kids. It's the school holidays. If they have a pet dog it could give them nightmares. "

Piran Lynn-Smith said: "If you want to be vegan that's fine but I don't think people should be forced. Animal cruelty is one thing but there are lots of hierarchies  in nature and it's all about balance and avoiding cruelty."

Daily Echo:

Sam Heath said: "I think it's ridiculous. I think it's horrific for kids that have lost dogs to see (a model of a) dead dog on a BBQ. That's not advertisement and it's not the right way of (promoting veganism.)"

Robert Holmes said: "I agree with what they're doing but not the way they're doing it.

"I know we have to be kind to animals but people are still going to eat meat so while I understand their meaning I think this is too extreme."

PETA Senior Campaigns Manager Kate Werner said: “When it comes to the capacity to suffer and feel pain and fear, a dog is no different from a pig, a chicken, or a cow.”

“PETA is urging anyone repulsed by the prospect of chowing down on dog meat to extend that compassion to all other animals and go vegan.”